Columbia City Council tables proposed changes to marijuana laws

Monday, August 4, 2014 | 10:17 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Possible changes to the city's marijuana laws will have to wait until Oct. 6.

The Columbia City Council unanimously tabled an amendment to the city's marijuana ordinance, which would decriminalize the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for personal use.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe who sponsored the amendment, requested to table the proposal until the Oct. 6 council meeting mostly to look at what changes in the amendment can be done, she said at Monday night's meeting. She also said she wants to give MU faculty and students a chance to weigh in at the October meeting; more will be in Columbia at that time, she said.

Under the proposal, those who are caught growing would not be subject for arrest but would instead face a fine. Residents growing the plant without a doctor's recommendation would face a $250 fine and medical patients caught growing with a doctor's note would be fined $50.

Four advisory boards and Columbia Public Schools sent letters or draft minutes of their meetings to the council to present their positions on the amendment and to state concerns they have with the proposal.

Hoppe and local marijuana activist and attorney Dan Viets plan to meet this week to discuss some of the concerns that the advisory boards have mentioned, Viets said in an email before the meeting. They have not decided which particular concerns they will address, he said.

Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.

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